Thursday October 24 2019
Lennon: 'Lazio superior at times'

Celtic manager Neil Lennon confessed Lazio “were the superior team” for periods of the Europa League match. “That was a Champions League game tonight.”

Manuel Lazzari had put the visitors ahead, but after wasting numerous chances to kill off the game, they capitulated to late Ryan Christie and Christopher Jullien goals.

“Lazio were superb. There were periods of the game when they were the superior team,” confessed Lennon in his press conference after a 2-1 result.

“I thought we started the game very well and then the psychology of the game changed. Lazio scored and got the upper hand, we made a change to get more support up to Odsonne Edouard and thankfully that worked.

“At times against quality sides you need your goalkeeper to play well and Fraser Forster pulled off two outstanding saves. Then the players dug out more energy and chances to get the winner. It has been an epic night for the players and the club.

“You could see it's a learning curve for some players, there's a bit of naivety in their play. But over the piece to go toe-to-toe with Lazio and come away with three points is a huge shot in the arm for the team.”

Celtic are top of Europa League Group E on seven points, followed by Cluj on six and Lazio three.

“It's a great position to be in. That, to me, was a Champions League game tonight with the quality that was on show from both sides and the tempo that the game was played at. And Lazio came to really play.

“So for us to get on the positive side of that result was fantastic. Yes, we have seven points now but there is still a lot of work left to be done in the group to ensure that we qualify.

“That’s the first time I've beaten an Italian team in my seventh attempt. It's a very proud night for everyone associated with the club.

“We look forward to the match in Rome now, but we know how difficult that's going to be on the evidence of what we've seen tonight.”

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